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Superfoods for Seniors ~ Bowel Disease Basics

Superfoods for Seniors

Wow it seems like it has been forever since I last featured a chapter from the Superfoods for Seniors book, but it has been on my desk at work for the longest time so I guess it’s time to begin again.

Super Foods bowel disease basics

The last chapter we discussed was Tummy Tamers, and this week we will pick up with “Bowel Disease Basics”. As most of you know, my hubby was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Cancer and had surgery approximately one year ago in March. Although the cancerous cells were removed, they have since noticed a growth albeit small one in a lymph node and have been monitoring him closely. We are not claiming the possibility of it being cancerous, we are however, eating right as not aggravate the cells.

According to the book, the 17 Superfoods that help to cure intestinal ills are as follows:

Cooked Rice – the starch is tough enough to withstand stomach acids and encourages the growth of probiotics which is a valuable bacteria.

Oats – soluable fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel that slows food down in your intestines, giving your body the chance to make butyrate. Rolled oats are best and are great with blueberries, another soluble fiber.

Yogurt – packed with probiotic power, look for those labeled “active cultures”.   Activa Yogurt Yogurt is an easier calcium source to digest than milk.

Lentils – a great source of iron for people with anemia often found in people with IBS. If you prefer not to eat beans, try other iron rich foods like clams or chicken.

Artichokes High in magnesium which is hard to absorb if you have IBD or celiac disease. Try steaming and dipped lightly in mayo with lemon juice or plain yogurt with Dijon mustard. Other foods high in magnesium are green peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, okra, scallops and beans.

butterhead lettuce Butterhead Lettuce – switch from iceberg lettuce to butterhead lettuce to get 4x more vitamin K which helps the blood to clot properly. If you bruise easily, have excessive bleeding or nosebleeds you may be vitamin K deficient. Butterhead lettuce includes Bibb or Boston, try adding these to your salads instead.

Orange Juice – fortified with Vitamin D because people with IBD or celiac disease often absorb less Vitamin D than average, which is also a risk for osteoperois.

deli turkey Turkey – high fat foods can cause cramping and diarrhea so cut the fat with turkey which is lower in fat and can add zinc to your diet. Zinc had wound-healing powers which may be loss if you are taking steroids for IBD.

Chickpeas – add more folate-rich chickpeas to your diet to help control colon cancer risk. If they are too high in fiber for you, try eating raw spinach or canned condensed chicken noodle soup.

Pumpkin – just ½ cup of pumpkin will provide as much Vitamin A as a whole cup of carrots. Vitamin A helps to protect the lining of your intestines.

Lima Beans if on steroids which robs your body of potassium, then eating Lima Beans which are rich in potassium will help to replace it. Lack of potassium causes confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, kidney damage, paralysis and irregular heart beats.

marinara sauce Marinara Sauce & Olive Oil – both contain high levels of Vitamin E a powerful antioxidant.

Cranberry Juice Cocktail – contains higher amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E and C. Helps to reduce the minimum steroid dosage needed to control ulcerative colitis symptoms.

Collard Greens leafy greens such as collards, kale, and turnip greens can help you add calcium without milk’s consequences.

sardines Sardines – rich in calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fish oils sardines also contain selenium which help lower the increased colon cancer risk associated with IBD.

Rainbow Trout contains omega-3 fish oils which can help prevent relapses of Crohn’s disease but limit your consumption to 12 oz or less per week because some may contain mercury with PCB’s.

Pineapple – has been linked to the improvement of ulcerative colitis symptoms in older adults. Fresh pineapple is better than canned or in a gelatin.

 

cooking tip with shrimp

Disclosure: I am not in the medical field so please check with your own physician before making any changes to your diet.


A Spring Cleanse Begins Within

A Spring Cleanse Begins Within

Hello friends, I hope all is well in your world. Did you start off the year trying to declutter and rid your home of unwanted or unnecessary items from your closets and dresser drawers? Perhaps you would rather wait until the Spring thaw to begin the cleaning process. If you haven’t started cleaning the house or car, just remember that a Spring Cleanse begins within and you should start now.

preparing collard greens A Colon Cleanse is a healthy way to rid your body of toxins, toxins that enter our body almost daily. I am not one who advocates replacing meals with a gallon of lemonade made with cayenne pepper or popping pills that put me in the bathroom all day. I use natural healthy ways to cleanse, such as drinking boiled parsley or cilantro; a few teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar or one of my grandmother’s favorite, “pot liquor” which is essentially the juice that remains in the pot after we’ve eaten all the collard greens.

improvKitchen_greenSmoothie_02

theimprovkitchen.blogspot.com photo

Green smoothies are another way to get a natural healthy cleanse and there are a million and one recipes on the internet, including this one I found at The Improv Kitchen, check it out.

Recently I heard an interview on the TJMS with TheHerbSistah and her recommendations to use natural ingredients to help men and women cleanse and detoxify.  I believe that incorporating Superfoods into your diet is truly the best way to keep yourself regular, so remember to add a few of these goodies to your grocery basket the next time you shop.

*Salmon
*Tuna
*Avocado
*Walnuts
*Almonds
*Olive Oil
*Flax Seeds

*Blueberries

*Raspberries
*Spinach
*Kale
*Eggplant
*Tomatoes
*Carrots
*Sweet Potatoes
*Apples
*Oranges
*Butternut Squash

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Superfoods not only help you cleanse your body to rid it of harmful substances, but they also fight off any harmful agents that may be trying to attack your system. You can keep those nasty bugs and virus’ at bay with a natural cleanse if you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  

Come Spring you’ll be ready to tackle those cabinets and closets!

Happy New Year ~ Happy New You!

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7 Superfoods You Should Eat Everyday

Best Buy Co, Inc.
superfoods friday In this New Year, New You here is a reminder of the 7 Superfoods that we should be eating everyday.

 


Spinach

spinach
This muscle builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Folate also increases blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect you against age-related sexual issues.

Spinach is also packed with lutein, a compound that fights macular degeneration (and may help your sex drive). Try to eat 1 cup fresh spinach or 1/2 cup cooked per day.  Add fresh spinach to salads, eggs, pizza, or sandwiches.

SUBSTITUTES: Kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce

 

Yogurt

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Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria for your body which helps boost your immune system and may provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.” Try to eat a cup of calcium and protein-rich yogurt per day. 

Yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast or dessert. Plain low-fat yogurt is also a perfect base for creamy salad dressings and dips.

SUBSTITUTES: Kefir, soy yogurt

Tomatoes

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There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene.

Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Try to eat at least 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. 

SUBSTITUTES: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava

 

Carrots

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Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids which is a fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.  Carrots are easy to prepare and have as low a caloric density, try to eat 1/2 cup a day.

SUBSTITUTES: Sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, mango

 Blueberries

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With  more antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries can help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence the nickname “brain berry”).

Studies show that blueberries, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, also boost cardiovascular health. Try to eat 1 cup fresh blueberries a day, or 1/2 cup frozen or dried.

SUBSTITUTES: Acai berries, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, strawberries

 

Black Beans

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All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brain power like black beans. That’s because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. A daily 1/2-cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. It’s also low in calories and free of saturated fat.  

Spinach, tomatoes and black beans…do you know what I am thinking????

SUBSTITUTES: Peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans

Oats

 

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Oats are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Yes, oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving, they deliver steady, muscle-friendly energy.

SUBSTITUTES: Quinoa, flaxseed, wild rice

Start your day heart healthy with Steel Cut Oats in a jar

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 Ingredients:

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup steel oats

1/2 cup blueberries

Cranberries and Honey are optional

Place jar of milk and steel oats in the refrigerator overnight to soften the oats.  The next morning, add more milk or nonfat greek yogurt and stir.  Top with a few raisins or cranberries and a tsp of honey.  Perfect way to start the day!

Steel Oats and Blueberries in a jar

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ HAPPY NEW YOU!

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Cranberry & Orange Bread {Repost}

Best Buy Co, Inc.

Now that the holiday season is in full swing and cranberries are plentiful, I wanted to repost this recipe for Cranberry & Orange Bread.

Cranberry and Orange Bread avi

Cranberries are good for almost everything! They are great for people watching their carbs because they’re full of nutrition, fiber, and flavor without many carbohydrates. Half a cup of whole cranberries has 4 grams of effective carbohydrate, plus 2 grams of fiber, 1/3 of which is soluble.

Antioxidants: In study after study, cranberries are near or at the top of the antioxidant heap. They are rich in polyphenols, and have a lot of other helpful phytochemicals as well.

This Superfood has other health benefits including:

  • Prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections

  • In the GI tract, they help prevent bacteria from causing food-borne illness.

  • May help prevent tooth decay by discouraging bacteria and preventing them from “sticking”.

  • Prevention of the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which may help prevent atherosclerosis.

  • Improves blood vessel function in people with atherosclerosis.

  • Some studies show that cranberries can either raise HDL cholesterol or lower LDL cholesterol.

  • Cranberries may also have anti-cancer properties.

 This week’s Superfood Friday Feature is

  1. Cranberry Bread

 

Cranberry and Orange Bread

I added sweetened dried cranberries and orange zest to a box of Pillsbury Quick Bread mix for more nutrients and flavoring.  (check the link below for money saving coupons)

added dried cranberries and orange zest to box mix

I’m really happy that the holiday season is here because fresh cranberries are now plentiful.  

Do you have recipes for cooking with cranberries, and no, not the one that calls for opening a can of jellied cranberry sauce and eating it with a spoon…I know you’ve done that!  

cranberry bread

 Speaking of the holidays, check out my DIY Napkin Rings article that was published in Parade Magazine!

DIY Napkin Rings avi

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!


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Superfoods Friday ~ Spaghetti Squash

superfoods friday

Hello friends and welcome to Superfoods Friday

I’ve read other bloggers tout the greatness of the Spaghetti Squash and I knew it was a great Superfood, however, it was only recently that I discovered it’s actual goodness, and I loved it!

  • Spaghetti squash is low in calories, with only about 42 calories per serving (about a cup), this vegetable is a great swap for higher calorie ingredients.
  • Spaghetti squash is gluten free and because of its texture, it makes a great swap for actual spaghetti.
  • Spaghetti squash is a good source of fiber.
  • Spaghetti squash has a variety of other vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin C, beta carotene, and a number of others to support your overall health.
  • This winter squash also promotes blood sugar control, and has a cholesterol lowering effect that protects us from various forms of cancer. 

 

superfood friday feature avi

Spaghetti Squash

I picked up a yellow Spaghetti Squash at Food Lion along with a can of Roasted Garlic and Onion Pasta Sauce. Since I had never prepared Spaghetti Squash I had to read several online recipes.  

After cutting the squash in half, I removed the seeds but kept them on the baking sheet.  Sprinkled each side with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and basil then placed each half upside down on the baking sheet.  Put into the preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  

Note: it is very hard to cut, so poke a few holes in it first then microwave for 15 minutes to soften it up.  

The roasted seeds are also awesome!

Superfood Spaghetti Squash1

Superfood Spaghetti Squash

 

While the Spaghetti Squash baked in the oven, I heated up the pasta sauce adding a little more sprinkles of basil and garlic salt. After I removed the squash from the oven, allowing it to cool for 20 minutes then used a fork to scrape out the strands and placed into a bowl.  

Poured the warmed sauce over top and stirred lightly for a delicious and healthy meal.

Superfood Spaghetti Squash

When I posted a pic on Instagram and Facebook, a few people gave me some other suggestions which I will try the next time.  What about you, do you have any ideas for add-ins or maybe other ways in which to cook this Superfood Spaghetti Squash?

Stay Blessed  ~ No Stress in 2014!

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Superfoods Friday ~ Salmon

Superfoods Friday

superfoods friday

Like walnuts and flaxseeds, salmon contains a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. One study found that women who ate omega-3-rich fish twice per week significantly lowered their chances of heart failure later in life.  Other research has shown that eating just 3 oz of salmon twice per week can increase levels of HDL (the good cholesterol).  

Salmon has also been credited with aiding in sun protection and improved cognitive function especially in middle-aged adults, and who couldn’t use a boost of brain power (hands up!)

This week’s Superfood Friday Feature is

Salmon in a Pouch

Friday Foodie Feature Sack of Salmon

I like to purchase my salmon on the same day that I am going to cook it and it must be pink without a fishy smell.  For this recipe, I chose to bake it in the oven in parchment paper.  To garnish the salmon, I used frozen mixed sweet peppers, zucchini, lemon rings and Old Bay Seasoning salt.

Friday Foodie Feature Sack of Salmon

Rinse Salmon filet under cool running water before placing it on a sheet of folded parchment paper.

Wash then slice zucchini to cover the salmon along with fresh or frozen sweet peppers, four pats of butter, lemon rings and seasoning salt.

Friday Foodie Feature Sack of Salmon

Friday Foodie Feature Sack of Salmon

Fold parchment paper over, crimping the sides then spray with cooking oil.

Friday Foodie Feature Sack of Salmon

There’s something about eating cornbread with fish, so I make some skillet bread and placed in the oven along with the salmon.  Both were baked in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees.

Friday Foodie Feature Sack of Salmon

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Salmon cooked for 30-40 mins, until pink and flaky, then served with brown rice and cornbread.  

How do you like to cook your fish?  

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!

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Superfoods Friday ~ Collard Greens

Hello friends and welcome to the first post of 

Superfoods Friday

superfoods friday

 

I have decided to combine the Friday Foodie Feature with SuperFoods for Seniors and I do hope that you like the change. Each week in addition to listing several Superfoods with information on how they help us stay healthy, one will also be featured in a recipe.

This week’s Superfood Friday Feature is

Collard Greens

Superfood Collard Greens

Before Kale became a popular Superfood, Collards were the better known green vital for bone health. My grandmother was born and raised in the south, Canton, North Carolina to be exact, so you know that we always had a big pot of greens on the stove every Sunday and holiday.

A tradition that I still have in my home to this day, thankfully they are pretty clean before being sold, so preparing them is uber easy. We don’t eat pork and most people no longer cook them in pieces of unhealthy Salt Pork, so instead I’ve used Smoked Turkey necks or wings.

I have since stopped adding any kind of meat so now I just cook them in a pot of water, with a little olive oil, vinegar, onions, garlic and a some seasoning sprinkled in.

collard, onion, garlic, olive oil and seasoning

Glory Foods also sells greens in a bag and they are just as healthy but I wanted fresh even though these looked like the bugs got to them, they were still good!  

Start a large pot of water, more than enough to cover the collards, I don’t measure, so I just pour in some olive oil and Apple Cider vinegar. Chop up an onion and a few bulbs of garlic, which can either be fresh or garlic in a jar sold at Dollar Tree.  You can also sprinkle in a little white sugar to cut down on the bitterness of the greens.

preparing collard greens

These greens were not gritty with dirt, but I still washed them before cooking as you should with any produce.  You can also add baking soda to the water if you wish.

preparing collard greens

After washing, remove the stems then layer a few of the leaves together.

preparing collard greens

Roll the leaves like a Cuban Cigar and cut into pieces, the size is your preference.

preparing collard greens

The water should be boiling now, so put in the collards, onions and garlic, cover and boil for several hours or until tender.

preparing collard greens

Kitchen Tip: Don’t throw away the water after the greens have cooked, this “pot liquor” is very healthy so bottle and refrigerate to use as a broth or tea.

Collard-Greens-vs-Kale

The Green leafy Superfoods

  • Having a diet high in green leafy vegetables you will have a far lower risk of heart disease and cancer
  • Fresh raw green leafy vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, which is an easily digestible proteins, enzymes and they contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals
  • Leafy greens act as mini-transfusions for the blood, a health tonic for the brain and immune system and a cleanser of the kidneys. Boil some parsley in water, refrigerate, then drink an 8 oz glass of it daily and you will notice a change in your urine.

    Which of these green leafy Superfoods are your favorite and how would you prepare them?

    Spinach, Dandelion Greens, Kale, Watercress, Parsley, Lettuce, Endive, Chicory, Broccoli Sprouts and Mustard Sprouts

  • Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!

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